In the cycle that began with the 2019 European elections, the European Commission, chaired by Ursula von der Leyen, defined a multi-year strategy based on the “double transition”, i.e. ecological (with the European Green Deal) and digital. The need to respond to the pandemic led to the suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact and the launch of the NGEU, a reform and investment plan financed with European debt and an injection of new own resources. First the strong economic recovery and then the Russian attack on Ukraine has rekindled inflation and confirmed the importance and gravity of the “energy” problem for the EU, which must be reconciled with the timing and methods of the ecological transition. In 2023, the CSF will focus on strategic reforms linked to Europe’s economy and the issue of energy, taking into account the work it has already done on carbon pricing.
• European Resources and Budget
During 2023, a debate within Europe will focus on the reform of the Stability and Growth Pact; on the possible replicability of the NGEU or the SURE (Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency) programme (focused on the energy emergency), also using new European debt; and on the strengthening of the multi-year budget of the EU, through new own resources. All this in a context marked by a rise in inflation and a gradual tightening of monetary policy, which could create tensions in countries (such as Italy) with high debt. These are all themes that the CSF has already addressed and intends to explore further to contribute to the eco-sustainable development of the European economy. The goal remains that of providing the Union with a permanent counter-cyclical fiscal capacity to focus on the production of “European public goods” (human capital, research and development, health, energy security and defence).
• Energy and Ecological Transition
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, two fundamental concerns that have emerged for the EU are the energy issue and the need to avoid short-sighted steps backwards in decarbonising the European economy. The CSF is committed to the issue of setting an adequate carbon price, including in the form of a carbon border adjustment mechanism. This trend will continue in 2023, thanks also to the collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Turin. This is a “federal” theme as it involves all territorial levels, starting with the cities. In-depth analysis on whether or not the EU needs an energy transition structure will continue (the CSF has hypothesised a European Community for Energy and the Environment, as an evolution of EURATOM). The EU could forge a new partnership with the African Union focused on green energy, with mutual development opportunities.